Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccines, Faster, Cheaper, Safer: But Are They Really Vegan?

Plant-Based COVID-19 Vaccines, Faster, Cheaper, Safer: But Are They Really Vegan?

Many people around the world celebrated once vaccines began testing to fight the COVID-19 virus, however, many remained critical. The main reason for this is because some of the vaccine manufacturers including the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are being tested on animals. 

Plant-based vaccines are being made from rice, corn, potatoes or lettuce could be the answer, with some entering the clinical trial phase.

But are they really vegan?

Being a natural alternative, plant-based vaccines are much faster to make, cheaper, and safer, according to scientists. Reports confirm they are also more effective on the immune system and this is because they present much more antigens.

One of the plant-based COVID-19 vaccines being under production now is by the biopharmaceutical company Medicago. They claim to be a world leader in plant-based vaccine development and they are currently in phase three of clinical trials, with more than 30 thirty thousand people taking part.

Additionally, it grabbed much attention of many vegans and vegetarians the trials being held in Argentina, which is one of the world’s largest meat consumers per capita.

Is the plant-based vaccine vegan?

German Public Service DW News ran a segment on the news which included an interview with Zacharie LeBlanc, of the Queensland University of Technology. When he was asked why animals are being used in vaccine development, LeBlanc confirmed that it’s actually usually animal cells before they become an organism.

“ I wouldn’t say animals are being harmed in the process. However, vaccines still go through a process of being tested on animals such rats, monkies, pigs and dogs and others further down the line. This means they vaccines aren’t vegan. I also do not think scientists can eliminate animals from that process.”


What are the benefits of plant-based vaccine?

The advantage of plants are their ‘scalability’, and because of that they are cheaper since growing a plant does cost much less monies than raising an caring for an animal.

They are also safer. The ‘hurdle’, however, is getting through clinical trials, though a plant-based vaccine could be available ‘in the near future’.

Can vegans accept vaccines that are being tested on animals?

Using plants to cure disease certainly makes sense, the humanity did that for thousands of years until Rockefeller’s got his hands in the Industry of Pharmacology with its derivatives from petrol, but if it still tests on animals, what can vegans do?

The Vegan Society released a statement regarding this last year.

“The definition of veganism recognizes that it is not always possible or practicable for vegans to avoid participating in animal use, which is particularly relevant to medical situations. In the case of COVID-19, vaccination will play a fundamental role in tackling the pandemic and saving lives. As there is currently a legal requirement that all vaccines are tested on animals, at this point in time it is impossible to have a vaccine that has been created without animal use.”

At the end, as the vaccine has only an emergency permit each person should feel free to take its own personal decision.

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